Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2013: Afxentia, point to point
Marianne Vos took the second stage in Afxentia stage race at Macheras Mountains. The Dutch road Olympic champion at Cyprus Sunshine Cup won in front of Adelheid Morath and Blaza Klemencic and overtook the yellow jersey.
Fabian Giger was able to leave Olympic mountainbike champion Jaroslav Kulhavy behind, claiming the yellow jersey now. Third spot on the podium went to Jan Skarnitzl.
Marianne Vos on a warm and sunny day delivered an impressive show. It was around the half of the 41 kilometer of the women’s point to point, when a steeper climbs split the leading group.
Marianne Vos (Ned, Rabobank/Liv Giant), Adelheid Morath (Ger, Sabine Spitz-Haibike) and her team mate Sabine Spitz (Ger) stayed in front, followed by Katrin Leumann (Sui, Ghost Factory Racing), Blaza Klemencic (Calcit Bike), Eva Lechner (Colnago Südtirol) and Kathrin Stirnemann (Sui, Sabine Spitz-Haibike), who later felt back due to a chain break.
Spitz could not hold the speed of Vos and Morath and so the two increased their lead up to 30 seconds, before they entered the long uphill single trail.
In the last, the steepest part of the single trail, Vos accelerated and went away. With a fabulous ride for the last 15 kilometers Vos in her seconds mtb race after her comeback in this discipline, took 3:32 minutes from Morath. Surprising because a long part of it, was a technical downhill. Morath was able to keep her second position in front of Blaza Klemencic, (+3:56) who already had left Sabine Spitz behind her. The Olympic mountainbike champion lost her fourth place in the downhill to Katrin Leumann, who was very fast in this part.
Marianne Vos: "I could manage to take a gap. In the descent, I tried to stay in control, not to take any risk. But it’s hard, when you have such a long climb before.
It’s pretty cool to win here. I didn’t expect to be so good. Yesterday already was a surprise. Of course, the big climbs suits me better than the downhill. I am really happy, that it worked out, incredible."
Adelheid Morath: "I missed the last point of punch at the end of the climb to follow Marianne. But it was great to have the challenge with her. That’s what I was looking for today. She was stronger than me and in the downhill I still miss the right feeling to ride. I am super satisfied with my result."
Blaza Klemencic: "It was a hard day out there. Before the steep uphill, I could catch first Leumann and then Spitz and then I could go my on pace. I still stay in the top three, that’s my goal. My team did a good job for me. Tomorrow will be another race, I like cross country the most."
Giger plan works into yellow
The decision in men’s race over 45,5 kilometer was close to a copy of the women’s. They were five men in front. Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze, Specialized Racing), Fabian Giger (Sui, Giant Pro XC), Periklis Ilias (Full-Dynamix), Jan Skarnitzl (Cze, Sram Rubena-Specialized) and Matthias Wengelin (Sweden).
The yellow jersey, Emil Lindgren (Giant Pro XC) at the bottom of the long single trail uphill, already was 20 seconds behind.
At the last part of the uphill Fabian Giger took the chance to attack and succeeded. Kulhavy followed on second position, while his country mate Skarnitz left Ilias and Wengelin behind.
In the downhill Giger was fast enough to bring 36 seconds into the finish, which put him into the yellow leader jersey. Kulhavy now, before last stage on Sunday, is second ,32 seconds behind the Swiss world ranked four.
Jan Skarnitzl was only seven seconds behind his country mate and now is also third in the overall.
While yesterday’s third placed Henk-Jaap Moorlag (Ned, Giant Pro XC) had two flat tires and lost 3:45 minutes to Giger (1:55:54), Lindgren (“I had to suffer today”) was able to make it back to fifth place, 17 seconds behind his surprising country mate Wengelin, who took fourth position.
Marathon world champion Periklis Ilias came into sixth place, 2:40 back.
Fabian Giger: "It was my plan to attack in the single trail, to watch how the others can do. It worked super, came good through the technical parts. In the downhill it’s not easy. You have to push for the overall and in the same time to be safe. It’s really nice to have this win, like I wished to have."
Jaroslav Kulhavy: "Fabian was strong and he took about ten seconds in the uphill. In the downhill it was a bit dangerous, because we had to pass women. I am still a bit tired, but that’s normal after that kind of training."
Jan Skarnitzl: "It was a good day for me, better than expected. Yesterday, I rode the same time as last year, but only got seventh place, instead of four last 2012. I am really surprised of today."